EAA Workbench Completed

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After some planning about space and layout in the garage, I decided to dive into the construction of a workbench. I’ve heard (and seen on some builder’s sites) some of the EAA 1000 Workbenches, and I thought that would be a good first workbench. I’ll use that one for awhile before building a second one, hopefully with some improvements.

UPDATE: I built a second one. See the other post for pictures of the second one.

EAA Chapter 1000 Standard workbench plans.
EAA Chapter 1000 Standard workbench instructions.

Here’s a couple before pictures of my garage.

Workbench Construction 008

I love the lighting. There was a single incandescent bulb in the gargage before. Also, I lined the garage doors with some double sided bubble foil I bought off eBay. I would say adding that decreased the temperature in my garage in the middle of the summer by 10 degrees. Good investment.

Workbench Construction 009

I also installed pegboard along the entire NW wall and on the half of the SE wall that wasn't finished. The tools are just thrown up on the wall for now; I promise to get organized before I purchase the empennage kit.

Workbench Construction 010

Some shelves I built early after moving in for more space. Look closely, and you can see my cornhole boards supporting some old laptop speakers. When hooked up to my iPhone, they are loud enough to hear through my hearing protection (which I use religiously with power tools).

Workbench Construction 011

Smaller shelves on the SE wall (and more pegboard). Good for tools.

Workbench Construction 013

Here's the top of the workbench (you build from the top down). Instead of 5 feet (60"), I decided to do 6 feet (72"). I added another rib (airplane talk!) which makes the spacing 14.1" on center (Instead of the ~15" mentioned in the EAA plans).

Workbench Construction 015

The legs and leg doublers got cut and mocked up. And no, I am not working barefoot.

Workbench Construction 016

Then I built the lower shelf unit (using scrap wood for spacing).

Workbench Construction 017

It's actually starting to look like a workbench.

Workbench Construction 018

After adding the other leg doublers, I fastened some 200 lb locking casters on the bottom. I stuck to the plans on height (33") because I knew the casters would add a few inches. My sawhorses were built to 36", and I am happy with that height. The finished work bench is pretty close to 36".

Workbench Construction 021

Flipped and looking like a workbench.

Then I cut some Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for the benchtop, overhanging each side by about 3". I've been told to do this so I can clamp airplane parts to the bench more easily. Figuring I'd be replacing the top a few times during the project, I secured it down with some countersunk screws. Hopefully I'll get the vise bolted down in the next few days.

Then I cut some Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for the benchtop, overhanging each side by about 3". I've been told to do this so I can clamp airplane parts to the bench more easily. Figuring I'd be replacing the top a few times during the project, I secured it down with some countersunk screws. Hopefully I'll get the vise bolted down in the next few days.

Is this where I say, “Ta Daaaa…”?

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14 Responses to EAA Workbench Completed

  1. John says:

    Did you use a set of plans for the wall shelves?
    Where did you get the insulation for the garage doors?

  2. Andrew says:

    I didn’t use any plans for the shelves, but instead just winged it. I didn’t know it at the time, but they are pretty much the top (first step) of the workbenches, with different dimensions. A buddy down the street has some like it, and I was able to hang off the edges of them, they were rock solid.

    The insulation for the garage was purchased from ebay after a search for “Garage Insulation.” They sell similar kits at Lowe’s and/or Home Depot for >$100…I think I got the ebay kit for $60 or so. Highly recommended…it really helps the temperature in the shop.

  3. Nick says:

    Bench looks great! Thanks for the tip on the garage insulation. I’m going to try it. I also LOVE the John Deere tractor on picture #4. I have one that resembles it.

  4. C. H. says:

    Hi. I have a new garage and want to do shelves like yours. How did you attach them to the finished wall? By the way, I love the idea of locking casters on the bench, mobility is nice.

  5. Andrew says:

    I ended up marking the studs using a studfinder through the drywall and then screwing (2 screws at each stud) a long 2×4 along the whole wall. Then I screwed (diagonally) the cross members to that 2×4, and then installed the front 2×4 to the crossmembers. (The whole things was well supported by a few ladders here). Then I added the 45 degree pieces under each crossmember.

    All of the screws were 3″ coarse drywall screws, which work great. You can use woods screws, too.

    I’m 260, and I can hang from the edge of the shelf.

  6. Charles says:

    Nice job. Looks good. Thanks for posting.

  7. Bob says:

    Andrew… found your site, just started my empennage kit. You’ve made me a fan of devinyling! I assume you are doing the priming only for the devinyled areas to save a bit of weight and not taking the vinyl off until closing up different sections?

  8. Andrew says:

    Hey bob.

    Yeah, the general idea was to not overprime. I figured that if I didn’t scratch or touch the alclad on non-mating surfaces, I didn’t need to prime. Of course, I’m putting in a glass cockpit, extra landing/taxi lights, extra nutplates for removable floors, etc. I’m probably not saving enough to make it worth the extra effort, but feel like it is a good compromise between no prime and full epoxy prime, and most importantly, I can sleep well at night with what I’ve done.

  9. Bob says:

    Appreciate your approach and look forward to a continued dialogue as I move forward with this. I’m on the road a bunch and expect this will take more than 5 years. I started an RV-4 project, years ago, and was so intent on finishing it was a huge frustration. New perspective now, no hurry, and want to do it right. Interested in all you mentioned with the removable floor, extra lights and glass cockpit. I’ll read on. Let me know if you are ever in the DFW area so we can connect.

  10. Andrew says:

    Hey bob.

    I have most of my thoughts about systems and things on the design page if my site. I constructed that page as a collection of ideas from scrounging around the Internet and watching the forums.

    __ Andrew Zachar andrew.d.zachar@gmail.com

  11. Jordan Barrows says:

    Hey I built two work tables using your design and your pictures. They came out great. Sturdy and level and solid. Thanks for putting this online so I could find it!

  12. Andrew says:

    Hey Jordan,

    Glad the pics could help. Good luck on the project. Keep me posted on your progress!

  13. Jason C says:

    G’day Andrew.
    I haven’t anything useful to add but wish to thank you for your efforts putting your experience on-line for all to read and view. You’ve re-invigorated my desire to build an RV-7 as recently I was leaning toward simply purchasing one(mainly because I’m a little impatient and want to fly it now). I will be reading on and looking forward to seeing the end result.
    Cheers, Jase.

  14. Andrew says:

    Hey Jason.

    Building is fun, and it’s a great hobby. Just make sure you are okay not having one to fly RIGHT NOW.

    Jeesh, looking back, I haven’t even worked on the airplane since the 13th. I need to get out into the garage tonight.

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